Unseasonably Early Growing Season has Many Area Parks in Need of Attention

Reservation 321-A, like most of the District's parks and green spaces, is in need of DGS attention.

The start of an early growing season this year seems to have caught the District off guard. The city’s own grass cutting rules state that any resident who has grass that exceeds more than 10 inches in height, is untended, or creates a dense area of shrubbery that is a detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the public is in violation. Fortunately for most of us, we’re probably not in any danger of violating these rules yet. The 2011 season didn’t begin until May 1, and the same is probably true this year.

But, while rules for residents may not kick in yet, I think it’s a reasonable expectation for the District to respond appropriately as public space violates the city’s own rules. Nearly all of our reservations and parks have woefully overgrown grass this season.

After contacting the city, it was discovered that the new Department of General Services is now in charge of the District’s grass cutting. It was also discovered that they have not taken any action to date because they are waiting for the grass cutting contract with the city to be finalized.

As grass cutting season began on May 1st in 2011, one can only guess that the 2012 contract could soon be finalized and that our local reservations and parks may soon be maintained. However … one has to ask why contracts  such as this one are not negotiated and signed at the start of the fiscal year. An early growing season like this year’s certainly shouldn’t create city-wide nuisance  public properties.

Reservation 321-A has grass well in excess of 10 inches -- something that is all too common in public space this year

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5 Comments on “Unseasonably Early Growing Season has Many Area Parks in Need of Attention”

  1. Angry Parakeet Says:

    There is no excuse. The city saved so much money this winter having no major snowstorms to spend money cleaning up. As far as a contract, are DC residents going to be those contract workers? Or will all those jobs go to the landscaping firms from PG county?

  2. John H. Says:

    Another example of my high-taxes-for-low-services experience in D.C. Shame on you city. Reservation 321-A is one of the most used green spaces in Park View. Most of the care it gets is from a neighbor who tends to the trees and does his best to grow grass in the brown spots. The other day there were two kids trying to kick a soccer ball in the knee-high grass. I wish I could say that this poor service by the city is unusual when it comes to parks and green space. It absolutely is not. So sad for the nation’s capital.


  3. Wow you would never see grass get that long over here in UK. I suppose it is good for wildlife though, and does look quite scenic.

  4. Commissioner Robert H. Mandle (4C10) Says:

    The information in this post relates to information and research that I have been conducting over the course of the last 3 weeks. I am surprised that it is taking DC upwards of 12 business days to get mowing completed. The responsible agency even gave me yesterday – 4/17 as the date that mowing would occur. Obviously, we have not yet seen any action.


  5. […] At long last, the Reservations in the vicinity of Rock Creek Church Road, Quincy, and Park Place were finally mowed last Friday. This was after a lot of public pressure and work — most notably from ANC Commissioner Robert H. Mandle (4C10) — who took to the listservs and Twitter keeping this issue in the forefront. The unseasonably warm weather coupled with the lack of a signed maintenance contract had allowed most of the District’s small parks to have grass far in excess of the 10″ limit. […]


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